Tuesday, July 01, 2008

What Are You People Talking About?

Over the years, when my in-laws would get together, and the women would find themselves sitting in a room chatting, it was inevitable that my father-in-law would walk in at least once and ask, "What are you people talking about?" And someone would always say, "tampons." Of course we weren't actually talking about tampons, but the look of disgust on the man's face and his quick exit out of the room were worth the lie.

Today, I am actually about to talk about feminine hygiene products, so if that's going to bother you, go to another room and come back later when the subject has changed.

So, I bought a box of tampons, a brand that has a new package design, and it now has a tag line that reads "Pro Comfort." What on earth would possess a marketing team to think that's a good line for a box of tampons? And what does "pro" mean in this context?

I wondered if it meant "for," the same way the Pope is for life as opposed to abortion, and the way the Pedigree pet food people are for dogs. They are for comfort, which is to say they are anti-discomfort. That's a helpful goal for a tampon manufacturer, but it should be assumed, not something to plaster on the box. Just in case you aren't sure, we'll tell you plain and simple we want you to be comfortable.

Then I wondered if "pro" is actually short for professional. You can buy a pro line of running shoes, and you can invest in a pro style musical instrument, skipping over the student model. You can take lessons from a tennis pro as opposed to a hack player with a weak backhand. But since when did this business of needing feminine hygiene products become a profession? And have I been missing out on some income all these years? The minimum wage in Ohio is currently $7 an hour, so I calculate that over a lifetime, I could earn an easy $403,000, not as an administrator but as a menstruator. Of course, then, I wonder if there is a product available for the amateurs, one that is not quite as comfortable as the pro version. And would that lesser product be cheaper?

If there is a union out there, they haven't done a good job recruiting new members because I have never heard of them. As far as I know, they aren't publicly endorsing any candidates or lobbying congress for any specific legislation. Maybe we can get one started? We could team up with the Teamsters for improved comfort. And better working conditions. If our jobs start being sent to India, we'll have representation to help us complain for fair treatment, although I bet most employees in this "profession" wouldn't complain too loudly.

I would be interested in contributing to a retirement fund, something like a 401K, so let me know if you know of any group plans available.


dive said...

Hee hee hee hee hee! $403,000 for a career as a menstruator made me laugh so hard, Robyn!

Did you notice, sitting on the shelf below the "PRO" Comfort versions, an "AMATEUR" Comfort version?
The folks in marketing live in a tiny and very strange world all their own.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

I'm skeptical. Not sure there'd be much job satisfaction.

This is hilarious!!!

Mrs. G. said...


It's hard to reinvent the tampon.

MmeBenaut said...

What have you been drinking Robyn? This is hilarious. I bet the marketing person was a man. Comfort? Not a word synonymous with menstruation.
I love the "tampon" explanation to get the boys to exit the room quickly. I think it would work every time.

DearestDragonfly said...

There's one reinvention of the tampon really scares me (though I'm not sure it's still on the market because I don't shop that aisle!): It is full of colored, fragranced beads and is marketed to the teen set.

I'm not sure when it was decided - or proved - that the dye and perfume are safe for contact with 'very sensitive skin'. They'll tell us it's not absorbed...then turn around and invent nicotine and pain patches!

Rich said...

Robyn, What are you talking about???

DearestDragonfly said...

Was just about ready to give Dive the 'very secure male' award, when, out of the blue, Rich weighs in.

lynn said...

he he sorry i missed this one at the time. I've always marvelled at the claims of tampon adverts, promising us we can swim, do gym, run enthusiastically up to our lovers with a manic smile. Well i can swim so the box doesn't need to teach me that, but get me to do gym? he he that would be worth buying.